Peaceful Valley Farm
9 x 12 inches
plein air oil painting
Last week I noticed that the theme on the Creative Construction blog was “farm” and that jogged my memory of this farm study, painted last fall, up around the Santa Ynez Valley. I don’t know the location since we were driving around without a GPS. So I found it in my archives and put on a few finishing touches and here it is.
Today my project is to make canvas panels for a workshop I’ll be attending in Fallbrook the week after next. Someone asked me recently about the importance of study in painting. I think that it’s essential to be a perpetual student, either literally, as in taking classes and workshops, or self-study by learning from nature.
When I’m riding in the car with my husband, if we’re not talking, I’m constantly observing and making mental notes about the landscape. It might be the color of the clouds when the light is coming at a certain angle, or the value difference between the light-struck part of a bush and the underbrush on a bright day. I might think about how I’d mix a certain shadow color that I see on the hills, or the sort of brushstroke I’d use to convey the softness of a field of grass vs. the roughness of a broken stump. We are not just painters when we sit or stand at the easel. We are painters every moment of the day (and sometimes, when we are asleep, too.)